The Spokesman-Review

Letters to the Editor

Inappropriate language

Bert Caldwell pleads (Aug. 25) for quality letters to the editor, reminding us “don’t use language you would not hear on television before 7 p.m., darn it.”

Meanwhile, Shawn Vestal freely rants (Aug. 28) and curses in his latest diatribe against supposed racism in America.

I have an 11-year-old who actually reads the paper. She’s been doing this since she was 6. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to discard the front page or other sections because they contain inappropriate pictures or words for young people. She’s certainly not a sheltered tween (she reads far too much to be sheltered), but we consider language to be a social contract.

Appropriate language elevates society. Sloppy slang and profanity lowers it. It also reflects poorly on the user, implying, at the least, laziness and at the most, lack of education. Language also lends itself to the slippery slope principle: How long before journalists start dropping the f-bomb?

Another time, I’ll respond to Vestal’s political biases, which are more suited to the Opinion section. For now, please just tighten up your editing, Spokesman-Review.

Leslie King

Cheney



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